Wars, rumors of wars, border security: why is it talked about so much

There is an interesting fact that recently occurred to me.  There has been a large amount of yelling and discussion amount conservatives about Domestic security, protecting our boarders, the need for a stronger military, etc.  This of course is nothing new, and it has been this way for many years.  What occurred to me recently is that I would LOVE to know where they get these ideas.  Let’s look at the facts of the matter, and see how accurate it is.

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Immigration, Obama, and Trump

Confusion around immigration law has caused many Americans to support unrealistic immigration solutions. U.S. immigration law is set by statute passed by the legislative branch.  Some parts of immigration law have been shaped by the courts as well. The president is responsible for implementation, which requires a number of decisions that are not necessarily spelled out in the legislation.

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The gospel and progressivism go hand in hand

I’m a Latter-day Saint. I’m progressive.

I didn’t put qualifiers of religion or politics on either for a reason.

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Why Campaign Zero: Four Stories About Interactions With Police

Cross-posted with permission from FEMWOC: Feminist Mormon Women of Color.

Recently, several young activists and groups of activists have come together to launch a platform called “Campaign ZERO.” The website states: 

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What To Do When Your LDS Child Comes Out

[This post relates a true story and has been edited to protect the identity of the author's adult child. Names have been changed.]

It’s a quiet evening. You’re sitting watching a little TV and relaxing as the day winds down. Your daughter Cheryl comes into the room and sits near you, but not too close. She is there, but not saying much. You turn off the TV and engage her in conversation. You ask about her classes, what she has been doing, and engage in other small talk. Slowly, somewhat hesitatingly, she superficially answers. After a little verbal interchange, she gets to the point of her conversation.

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STEM Education

Cartoon-Robot.pngScience, technology, engineering, and math are important subjects that our schools need to teach. Many groups have come to recognize this and are pushing for better STEM education for a variety of reasons. We do need to make sure our students are gaining useful skill sets, but that doesn't necessarily mean buying into the latest fads.  While it is important to promote STEM careers, the success of our economy depends on a variety of people and skills sets.

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A New Page in US-Cuban and US-Iranian Relations

In recent weeks, the US has seen dramatic changes with two age-old policies as relations have begun normalizing between our nation and Cuba, and the historic nuclear agreement negotiated between the United States and Iran. These two policy changes are monumental achievements for the Obama administration considering the five-decade embargo and travel ban regarding Cuba, and a warming of relations with Iran that have been icy at best for over 30 years.

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Defunding Planned Parenthood: Making a Bad Situation Worse

pphealth1.jpgAn all-out attack on Planned Parenthood has begun. Yesterday Bobby Jindal, governor of Louisiana, cut all Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood reasoning, “Planned Parenthood does not represent the values of the people of Louisiana and shows a fundamental disrespect for human life. It has become clear that this is not an organization that is worthy of receiving public assistance from the state.”  Jeb Bush also followed suit on the campaign trail remarking, “I'm not sure we need a half a billion dollars for women's health issues.” Scott Walker even boasted, “We defunded Planned Parenthood long before these videos came out.” To the emotional pro-life observer these comments are met with warm acceptance and a thunderous applause. The problem with the demonization of Planned Parenthood is such arguments are built on blatant lies fueled by ignorance. Although such attacks are designed to end the practice of abortion and rally the voting base, the real victims are the millions of women who use Planned Parenthood for preventative healthcare and family planning.

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I'm a Mormon and I Stand with Planned Parenthood #standwithPP

I am an active, believing temple recommend holding member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

I am also a board member of the c4 arm of the Planned Parenthood Association of Utah.

These two things are not a contradiction.


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This Thursday, July 30, marks the 50th anniversary of the enactment of Medicare and Medicaid, and for me it’s a deeply personal occasion, made all the more poignant by its placement very close to the sixth anniversary of my kidney transplant.  Because this is so personal to me, rather than simply discuss the history of these programs or discuss facts and figures relating to their status today, I want to talk about my personal experience with them, and tell you why they mean so much to me.

At the time that I was diagnosed with end stage kidney failure, I was working part-time for a science education facility and as a part-time actor, going to college part-time, and was a full-time care provider for the two greatest kids in the world: my niece and nephew. My sister and her husband both had to work full-time to support their family, so I was living in their basement and helping pay rent while taking care of the kids. None of these things gave me access to health insurance. But I qualified for both Medicare and  Medicaid (one of the small number of circumstances which makes a person younger than normal Medicare eligibility age eligible is end stage kidney failure).

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