Black in America

I find it difficult to talk about race.  I was born of privilege.  I come from Scottish, Irish, and English ancestry, with a few Germans or other European ancestors mixed in.  My family never owned slaves, as far as I know.  I live in a state with a 1% black population.  I have 2 black Facebook friends, neither of whom I contact regularly.  I am just about as far removed from the plight of my darker skinned brothers and sisters as anyone could be in this country. 

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Why We Weren't Prepared for COVID-19 Part 3

After President Trump declared a national emergency on March 13, I think most people in the United States (including me) breathed a sigh of relief. After watching the signs, reading the news, seeing the infected count rise day after day, we needed some leadership at the top. While the performance of his declaration was not spectacular, at least he did it and now the country could get to work on minimizing economic damage and lives lost.

That hope was in vain.

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Why We Weren't Prepared for COVID-19 Part 2

Between Christmas and the New Year in 2019, my family decided to take a trip to Las Vegas. It was a chance to get away. It was also a chance for my oldest daughter, who is serious about violin, to get some intensive training from her teacher. She practiced and had lessons each day through to the afternoon and evening. After she was finished, we'd go see the sights. We saw the Bellagio fountains. We ate at interesting restaurants, went shopping, and had delicious treats. We made our way home for the New Year. We celebrated with lit up sparklers and friends.

A world away, the World Health Organization talked about a mysterious pneumonia sickening dozens in China.

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Why We Weren't Prepared for COVID-19 Part 1

I remember the Spring of 2009 well. It was one of the first times I sang in General Conference as a member of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Our firstborn daughter turned 2. We celebrated with a pinata, pizza, and some stuffed animals that were bigger than she was. Cousins came, friends and grandparents came. The party was a success, complete with a tiara. Our 6-month-old daughter enjoyed the festivities as well.

We didn't know at that time that an invisible threat was looming on the horizon.

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Government By The People?

I follow Senator Lee on Twitter.  Every once in a while I'll get on and like some things, and retweet others.  I don't spend much time on Twitter.  Yesterday I was lucky enough to be online when an Mike Lee made an announcement that he will have a town hall the following day at 2:30 in Draper.  My job is fairly flexible as far as scheduling goes, so I moved some meetings around, carved out the time, and trekked down to Draper to do my civic duty.  I was there 15 minutes early.  

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It's an Anchor, Not a Crutch

President Trump was acquitted by the Senate a few days ago; in an impeachment trial without witnesses: a first in our 200+ year history.  In each impeachment trial previous there have been witnesses called by the senate that weren't called by the house.  One Republican Senator thought that a testimony such as John Bolton's could give him some doubt as to the President's guilt, thereby saving him from what he knew he must do to keep his oath: vote to convict.

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Top 100 Reasons to Impeach Trump

A friend of mine recently posted a series of 100 reasons President Trump has earned removal from office.  She also included 24 "dishonorable mentions".  She agreed to let me post them here.  You can follow her on twitter here: @tburages.  She always posts insightful, well-documented images detailing the corruption of this president in an easily digestible format.  I've started at the bottom and worked up to the top.  Enjoy.

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Who, After All, Speaks Today of the Annihilation of the Armenians?

I served my mission in a small country called Armenia.  When I was there I learned of the atrocities committed by the Turks during World War I when the whole world was looking somewhere else.  About 1,500,000 ethnic Armenians who were Turkish citizens were slaughtered.  The Genocide was forgotten and to this day Turkey does not recognize what they did, regardless of the mountains of evidence supporting the genocidal action.  When I was there, I participated in commemorating those who passed.  Each year on April 24th, thousands of Armenians come to recognize what happened.  They come and lay flowers at the eternal flame in Yerevan.  A flame that burns year-round in remembrance.

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We Are Killing Ourselves

I plant pumpkins in my front yard every year.  To me they are the perfect post-tulip ground cover.  Most years we get at least 4 pumpkins, which means that we don't usually need to buy them from the store.  This year will be different.

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Masterpiece

Recently a friend posted a work of art on Facebook by renowned artist and fan of President Trump, Jon McNaughton.  Another of my friends introduced me to an article in Newsweek where many on twitter took the painting and changed it according to what they think President Trump is painting.  I decided to introduce my own take on President Trump's "Masterpiece."  I hope this finds a few smiles.  Enjoy.

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