Tag Archives: politics

The Burden of Being “America’s Choir”

I feel for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir today. I really do!

I mean I feel for their members, I feel for the organists and conductors and I feel for the leaders of my church who have to make tough decisions. Because the decision each of those individuals had to make in these last couple of weeks have been rough. And regardless of what they chose, it was always a no-win situation.

Now before anyone gets upset thinking this is going to be an anti-Trump post, hear me out. I’m not so much speaking about Donald Trump specifically as I am the situation the choir finds itself in.

I’m quite certain that when The Mormon Tabernacle Choir (we’re just going to refer to them as MoTab from here on out for clarity’s sake) accepted the invitation to sing at Lyndon B. Johnson’s inauguration in 1964, it was done so with much joy and appreciation. It undoubtedly represented an opportunity for the LDS church to be recognized and accepted, by the President of the United States at least, as mainstream. It was recognition that had been long, long overdue and I can only imagine the pride those choir members must have felt, as well as church members worldwide, as they sang in Washington D.C. those many years ago.

Unfortunately, they had no idea of the precedent they were setting that would come back to bite them so 50 years later.

You see, since that inauguration, MoTab has sung at four additional inaugurations. When they are called, they answer. It’s a very “Mormon” thing to do. It’s the same attribute I believe Mitt Romney was exhibiting, despite his obvious misgivings about our current president-elect, when he accepted the invitation to Trump Tower (and a high profile dinner in front of the cameras so that Mr. Trump could parade his defeated foe on display) to discuss the job of Secretary of State. If you call a Mormon to serve, more often than not, they are going to show up. It just is.

The problem now is that since LBJ, only Republicans have called. Richard Nixon called, Ronald Reagan called, George H.W. Bush called and his son George W. Bush called. Who didn’t call? Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. Does anyone else see a problematic trend developing?

The LDS church has long maintained a stance of political neutrality. Yes, church leaders have weighed in from time to time on specific issues they believe directly relate to Church standards or teachings, but overall, they do not support a party, a candidate or an ideology. But when one adds this string of Republican inauguration appearances to the overwhelming support Republicans enjoy on a national level among latter-day saints, especially in the state of Utah, outsiders might be prone to take away the wrong message. Or even insiders for that matter who might be Democrats…I suppose.

Which brings me back to my feelings of sympathy for choir members and church leaders who had to make the decision on whether or not to sing at the inauguration of Donald Trump. For them, not good options existed. Had they refused, word would have gotten out and I am quite certain backlash from inside the church would have been fierce and ugly. But accepting has been anything but a cakewalk either.

Throughout the final days of the campaign, social media battles were erupting all over the LDS landscape regarding Mr. Trump. Members were arguiung right and left amongst themselves on whether it was right or wrong to vote for someone who personally had exhibited such great disdain for many things LDS members hold dear. It was not an easy decision and although it would appear the majority of LDS Republicans opted to vote for Mr. Trump in the end, for many, it was not an easy decision.

So now we are coming up to the inauguration. Should the choir travel to D.C. and sing? I personally think they should not. I believe that as the church becomes more diverse and more of a world-wide institution, taking part in any activity that might be construed as supporting one candidate or party over another should probably be avoided. And that view has little to do with whether or not the candidate might be considered moral or not.

It’s about trying to be non-partisan or non-political in 2016’s hyper-political environment. I mean, c’mon, let’s be very real with ourselves for just a moment. Do we honestly believe that social media wouldn’t have exploded with negative backlash within LDS circles if Hillary Clinton had won and the choir had been invited and accepted said invitation to sing at her inauguration? Maybe the majority of members wouldn’t have taken to Facebook or Twitter to express their outrage, but a very vocal group would have undoubtedly been infuriated that the church would send its most visible ambassadors to support “that criminal.”

Unfortunately, the opportunity to make the right decision regarding a performance at Mr. Trump’s inauguration was taken away from today’s choir 50 years ago. Despite all the positive press received by the choir (and by extension the church) due to their presence at inaugurations over the years, MoTab probably should have politely declined LBJ’s offer in the name of their political neutrality. It might have led to some negative backlash at the time, but I guarantee that having the opportunity to politely decline today would have been totally worth it.

Having said that, I hope they do well. I hope they sound as good as they do every Sunday morning during The Spoken Word.

But I do have to add, there was some great humor to be found in the situation as evidenced by the hashtag that trended on Twitter following the choir’s announcement. And if you can’t laugh at some of the offerings found under #motabsetlist, then you simply need to get a sense of humor. Some of the best examples were as follows:

  • I Tweet Thee Every Hour
  • Oh Say What Is Truth (No title alteration needed)
  • Let Us Not Speak Kind Words
  • I Thank Thee Oh God For A Profit
  • Or the Primary song, “I Have Two Little Hands”

But my personal favorite was definitely:

  • Because I Have Been Given Much, I Need A Massive Tax Cut

C’mon, go ahead and laugh. You know it’s funny. And in the meantime, I believe I speak for church members everywhere when I say, Good Luck Choir! We love you and feel blessed that you represent us so wonderfully regardless of where you perform.

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You Can’t Have Your Cake Without Having It Shoved Down Your Throat Too

I’m going to admit something. This whole Donald Trump candidacy has been very liberating for me. Having grown up in an extremely conservative home and having adopted many of those extremely conservative values in my own adult life, I have by default been part of the right-wing chorus on many an issue for quite some time.

But now…not so much. In fact, I’m beginning to see a lot of things without a “Rush Limbaugh” filter and WOW does the view look different!

Case in point, take the clamor of the last forty years over the vast “liberal” main stream media. We on the right have been lamenting that life and politics in this country is so unbelievably unfair because of the incredibly biased reporting we see on behalf of liberal causes and candidates. In fact, you could argue that the rise of talk radio and Fox News is a direct result of that belief.

Now before I go any further, I need to explain before my conservative Republican friends completely go ballistic on me, that I still believe this to a certain degree. I think the evidence over the decades would easily suggest that most media outlets tend to be harder on Republicans and Republican candidates and ideas than they are on their Democratic counterparts. Examples? Sure!

  • The most blatant example would have to be Candy Crowley inserting herself into the Romney/Obama debate in 2012 when she “corrected” Mr. Romney by stating that the president HAD referred to what happened in Benghazi as terrorism in the immediate aftermath of the incident. Technically, she was correct. But there is no denying that for 13 days after the Benghazi attack, he avoided the term terrorism and instead focused on placing the blame on a video that supposedly had incited Muslim riots.  That was Mr. Romney’s point and she knew it. And she knew his point was a valid one. Regardless, it shouldn’t have mattered either way. She was the moderator, not the fact checker. And she felt no need to insert herself at any other point during the debate when things said about Mr. Romney were taken out of context or mischaracterized, specifically his 47% comment. It was blatant and it was brutal. That interjection cost Romney that debate. He looked flustered in the moment (as any of us would) and…lost.
  • Another glaring example is that of Clarence Thomas vs. Anita Hill. Or more appropriately, Clarence Thomas vs. Teddy Kennedy. I believe the truth is, we will never know exactly what transpired between Clarence Thomas and Anita Hill. But according to the media then, and according to the media and their counterparts in Hollywood now (see HBO’s most recent entry into this affair entitled Confirmation) Anita Hill was telling the entire truth and Justice Thomas was lying. But what was more troubling to conservatives everywhere was the level to which the media went after Clarence Thomas over an alleged throw away comment about a pubic hair on a Coke can while, ironically, sitting on the Senate Judiciary panel was a man who was never made to answer adequately for his actions regarding the death of Mary Jo Kopeckni in the Chappaquiddick River.
  • A silly but illustrative example, I believe, of the media’s tendency to give liberals a little more leeway than conservatives or Republicans would be misstatements by George W. Bush and Barack Obama. With full recognition that Mr. Bush had more “Bushisms” than Mr. Obama, you can’t deny that the media was more than willing to sell the idea that Mr. Bush was…well not the sharpest tool in the shed. Yet, even though Mr. Bush said among other things that there were “rumors on the internets”, one cannot deny that Mr. Obama had his fair share of verbal slip-ups as well, the most notorious probably being that he had visited 57 states with two left to go. Nevertheless, the media narrative on Mr. Obama has consistently absorbed his gaffes while continuing to highlight how brilliant of an intellectual he is. The truth is, both men are incredibly gifted in their own right and people who have worked next to both men have expressed how intelligent they are.

But having said all of the above, I can’t help but laugh at the hand-wringing that is going on over at Fox and on social media. The issue? How unfair the media is being to Donald Trump.

Let me repeat that…How unfair the media is being to Donald Trump!

Are you freaking kidding me? This is the man who won the Republican primary because the media, both conservative and otherwise, wouldn’t talk about anybody else. He sucked the air out of every room with his bombastic statements and arrogant refusal to back down or apologize for anything. And has the media’s coverage of him changed since then? Not a bit. They are simply continuing to report on the asinine things he says with abandon.

But, but…he gave a speech on his tax policy and all anyone wants to talk about is the Khan family or the fact that so many Republicans are jumping ship on Mr. Trump. It’s not FAIR!!!

So let me get this straight. Someone finally shot Mr. Trump with enough tranquilizers to put him in front of a teleprompter so that he could “Presidentially” explain to America that he is going to cut taxes without explaining how he is going to pay for the deficits his tax cuts will cause. Well I’m sorry, but that’s not news. That’s basically the same thing we have heard from every Republican candidate for the last thirty-five years. To make out like this is some major news story would be similar to cutting into daytime television to announce that a Democrat has pledged to raise federal spending. It’s not a news story. It barely requires more acknowledgement than breathing.

The Khan family and GOP defections, on the other hand, are a very different story.

Let’s take the Khan family controversy…which is ENTIRELY a story because of Mr. Trump. You have the Republican nominee for president criticizing and insulting the family of a United States serviceman who died while trying to protect his fellow servicemen from a suicide bomber. The REPUBLICAN nominee, you know…that’s the party that claims to be the only institution in America who cares about the military.

Now, it didn’t need to be a story. All Mr. Trump had to do was take a lesson from Mrs. Clinton who tried to be as gracious as possible to the mother of the serviceman killed in Benghazi. There is no doubt that Mrs. Clinton’s statements in no way made the victim’s family feel any better, but she was at least complimentary of the young man’s service and tried to sound sympathetic toward the mother’s loss. No one has to believe that she means it, but simply by responding in this way, Mrs. Clinton guarantees that the issue stays low key and doesn’t become a major news story dominating headlines for days. But that isn’t Mr. Trump’s way is it? No, he has to say that he has sacrificed just like the Khans. Now Mr. Trump didn’t serve in the military because, according to his own words, he had spurs in his foot. When asked which foot, he couldn’t remember, but…whatever. Nevertheless, he has sacrificed. He sacrificed by inheriting millions of dollars and going into business. That’s the same as losing your son, right? Then he compounded the issue by insulting Muslim Americans everywhere by suggesting their religion did not allow the serviceman’s mother to talk because she chose to stand silently at her husband’s side. Unbelievable…except it’s Trump so…Totally Believable!!!

This single misstep with the Khans, I believe, will bury Mr. Trump. And it is what thousands of us on the moderate/conservative side of the aisle have been saying from the beginning. He Can’t Win! Because eventually, when all you can do is hurl insults and vile put-downs at everyone, it will eventually cost you. And now, it has. The media is simply reporting what he is saying. They don’t need to do anything else. There is no bias and there is no need to slant the truth. They just have to print what he says, and in the same fluid movement, hand him a shovel to bury himself with.

Now furthermore, dozens of well known Republicans defecting from USS Trump is also a major news story. When in the history of this country have we ever seen this kind of mutiny happen within a political party heading into a general election for president? I would venture to say it has been over a century if it has ever happened at all. Those kind of events are what we call news. Again, the media doesn’t have to lie or slant or show their bias, they just have to report what is going on. What is even more ironic is that Trump supporters will say it is just the establishment trying to seek revenge. To which I would say, then maybe it isn’t so smart to try and whack the establishment when your candidate is a verbal machine gun of ineptitude. You end up looking silly. But whether you like it or not, the defections by so many GOP stalwarts is news. It just is.

Here’s the hard and fast truth my Trump supporting friends. Trump was never going to get elected. EVER! The only reason he got traction was because the media was having the time of their lives playing and replaying his latest soundbite of jackassery. The same jackassery many of you found so appealing. No reasonable candidate could get a word in edgewise because suddenly Mr. Trump was “telling it like it is.” And you liked it just as much as the media did…just for different reasons. But now we are at the point when it is time to start talking about how we are going to fix some pretty significant problems in this country. But instead, what is Mr. Trump doing? The same thing he’s always done. He’s playing the role of eighth grade bully at a level worthy of an academy award. And guess what. Now it’s starting to sound as stupid to you as it did to us all along.

Well…I’m sorry, but this is the guy you wanted. This is the guy you chose. And if you think the media is responsible for his sudden lack of favorability, then I guess that makes you somewhat delusional. Because this guy, the first Republican nominee in over 50 years who might actually lose the state of Utah, is the same buffoon we’ve been seeing portrayed in the media from the beginning.

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Is My Name Alice?

In Lewis Carroll’s novel, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, a young girl follows a rabbit (wearing a waistcoat no less) down a rabbit hole that leads to a land filled with bizarre creatures who all seem to operate under a system that defies logic and common sense. With each passing day, I can’t help but wonder if I’ve somehow fallen down the same rabbit hole. Why would I say this? I provide the following examples:

Obamacare: Does anyone else get the sense that the President is operating under the same type of governing style as the Queen of Hearts as depticted in Walt Disney’s Alice in Wonderland?

Our president sold this bill as one that would bring down premiums and yet no one’s premiums are going down. In fact, a large majority of American’s premiums are going up. DRAMATICALLY! And the man still goes on the stump and says there is no evidence that Obamacare is causing premiums to rise despite mountains and mountains of evidence that suggests exactly that.

The person in charge of implementing Obamacare, H&HS Secretary, Kathleen Sibilius, can’t answer the simplest of questions: How many people have actually signed up for Obamacare?

“We can’t actually put a number to that.”

REALLY???

People sign up through a computer. You know those things that know whether or not I blow my nose with a Kleenex or with Charmin toilet paper and then market to me accordingly. They are those machines that can track where I am with my phone and guide me to any address I ask for (with voice activation software) down to a few yards. And you expect me to believe that you can’t give us a ballpark number of how many people have signed up for Obamacare? Please!!!

Another question she has trouble with: Why is the website such a disaster to work with and why did it keep crashing when you rolled it out?

“Well, any new venture has problems out of the gate. But I can tell you it is better today than it was yesterday. And it will better tomorrow than it is today.”

HOLY CRAP!!! And we’re expected to buy this?

Can you imagine if Apple introduced the latest iPhone onto the market and it utterly failed on day one. Any CEO, along with the entire marketing department would be fired immediately if they came out with the slogan, The iPhone 6. It’s working better today than it did yesterday.

Also, this bill allows for members of Congress (individuals who make a heck of a lot more money than I do) to receive a 72% supplement of any plan they purchase under Obamacare. We the people don’t get this, but they do. However, when politicians who support this bill are asked about the supplement, their response is:

“Umm…I don’t get a supplement.”

“So you sir are willing to go on record as saying you will forego any supplement provided to congress under the Obamacare bill.”

“Oh, you mean that supplement. Yeah, umm…can we change the subject?”

Finally, the whole supposed purpose of this massive law was to get a large segment of the uninsured population insured. But instead, all corporations have been given waivers so they don’t have to insure their people anytime soon, most of the uninsured who couldn’t afford health insurance are opting for the penalty because premiums are still too high, (which is why they were uninsured in the first place) and still…

Still the president goes on the stump and claims what a groundbreaking, awesome law this is and under no circumstances can we do anything to change it.

Is it just me or is this the same concept as painting the roses red?

Smiley Virus – For the record, I refuse to use the girl’s real name because that is exactly my point. Why are we as a culture giving so much air time to female child stars whose lives are on a one way bus ride to crapsville? It’s a simple solution, but let me walk through the process since nobody seems to understand it.

They’ve been taught during their impressionable years that publicity (regardless of how you get it) is the only thing that matters in life. So when they get tired of being a “kid” star, they’ll do anything to get noticed.

So if you want to help…stop talking about them. Ignore them. Do not help them further destroy themselves by becoming their drug dealer for the only drug that matters to them…Attention.

If we were to hear about someone supplying these girls with heroin and forcing them into prostitution, we would scream for them to be arrested and thrown away for life. But as a society we seem to have no problem picking up the latest People magazine and reading about how so and so masterbated on stage and then filmed herself naked on a wrecking ball. (What’s the definition of prostitution again? Just asking.) All so we will keep talking about her.

So stop talking about her…PLEASE!!! Because this trend we keep seeing has a very merry unbirthday feel to it.

Federal Parks Closing – Let me make sure I understand this. If people in Washington can’t figure something out, Public lands-you know, the ones our tax dollars pay for- get shut down.

COME AGAIN???

Did Washington build the Grand Canyon? Closer to home, did the federal government move a bunch of earth and then plant a bunch of pine trees to create the campgrounds that have been used for decades on Mt Graham? So then who the hell are they to say we have to stay away until they quit their grandstanding and petty namecalling? It brings to mind a large green caterpillar who I believe said it best.

“Whhhoooo ARREEEE Yooouuu????”

Oh yeah, we already discussed this didn’t we? We’re being governed by a man who believes in yelling at anyone who disagrees with him, “OFF WITH THEIR HEADS!!!” And he is surrounded by a bunch of weak-willed “suits” whose integrity is paper thin. A bunch of cards who are more concerned about television face time than they are about solving the problems of our nation.

So I am left to beg from anyone who might be able to help me. Can someone please point the way out of this rabbit hole? I think I’ve had enough.

 

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THE Week and Why Am I Thinking About Hillary Clinton?

So this is it. THE RELUCTANT BLOGGER officially releases tomorrow (although everyone who pre-ordered it has it already) and the blog tour wraps up its final week on Friday. Then, on Saturday, the real fun begins. The first book launch/signing party takes place at 10:00 a.m. at Bookworms Bookstore. I will be featured in the local paper here in Safford on Wednesday promoting the book and the event, and then I will be on local radio that Saturday morning doing the same. Another interesting tidbit is that I was contacted by the guy who produces The Arizona Republic’s smaller paper that focuses on the Gilbert area. I will apprarently be featured in that next Saturday as well unless I get bumped.

As far as the blog tour goes, there are seven blogs scheduled for this week and the first one today is a site run by Andrea Frisby. I contacted Andrea a few months back about getting on her schedule and she was kind enough to agree. Then about six weeks or so ago, she let me know that life had happened and she wasn’t sure she would be able to read THE RELUCTANT BLOGGER in time. As I have also had life happen to me, I assured her that begging off was no problem. We went ahead and sent her a copy of the book and said if and when she could get to it, we would welcome whatever involvement in the blog tour she could provide.

So I can’t tell you how pleased and surprised I was to learn a week or so ago that she had been able to finish THE RELUCTANT BLOGGER, and not only that, but had her fellow reviewer on the site, Tarah, read it as well. Both of their reviews can be found by following this link. As I have done previous, if you are not a link follower, here are some excerpts from both reviews:

“I didn’t really know what to expect from THE RELUCTANT BLOGGER, but whatever expectations I had were totally exceeded! This book made me laugh out loud one minute and cry the next. I loved the characters, and couldn’t help but become emotionally connected to Todd.

I really loved how debut novelist Ryan Rapier approached this story. It could have been a really depressing book, but the humor he included was wonderful! Who knew reading about a trip to
Walmart could be so entertaining? I highly recommend it, and look forward to reading more by Ryan Rapier.” – Andrea

“I was surprised at how emotional this book was. I wasn’t expecting that at all. I think I was expecting LDS fluff. Don’t get me wrong, I like LDS fluff, it’s typically pretty funny, but the topics covered in The Reluctant Blogger were serious and…real. I wasn’t expecting things to be “real”. I loved it.

THE RELUCTANT BLOGGER was well written, thought provoking, and enjoyable. Grab a box of tissues, and start reading.” – Tarah

Again, I want to thank both Andrea and Tarah for their very kind comments and for being a part of the blog tour under less than ideal circumstances for them. Thank you both so much.

In other news, I want to share one other thought because it has been bugging the heck out of me for about a week.

Overall, I try to stay grounded and not allow my politics to get too radical one way or the other. So when I see things like the announcement last week that Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committe, was going to boycott NBC and CNN when it comes to Republican Primary Presidential debates because of their decision to air a mini-series on Hillary Clinton that will be positive in its portrayal, it makes me laugh. His argument is that she is the front-runner for the Democrats in 2016 and news networks should not be showing what basically amounts to propoganda for a specific party candidate leading into a presidential election.

REALLY???

I think this argument by Mr. Priebus is utterly ridiculous. The fact that Fox News, MSNBC and 80% of the commentators on CNN are actively bias one way or the other is commonly accepted and propoganda spews forth nightly on all news networks. This is just silly politics on his part.

However, I will concede that one question is extremely valid when it comes to the making of this mini-series. WHY?

Why is Hillary Clinton so famous/loved/respected/pumped up as the greatest thing to happen to women since the invention of Spanx. Or maybe before the invention of Spanx. I’m not sure. Anyway…

I mean, what has she really done that is so pioneering and worthy of the accolades she gets. I will grant you, she was First Lady. But 42 other women have held that distinction and not gotten their own mini-series. I mean even Michelle Obama, the first African-American First Lady doesn’t get the props that Mrs. Clinton gets.

Which leads me to the next area that could be considered special. She was Secretary of State. But she wasn’t the first female to hold that office. In fact, she was the third. And the one who held the office before her was the first African-American woman to ascend to that high of an office within the United States government. And what did she get for her achievements? Well, the bag was certainly mixed. (She was the object of multiple racially charged political cartoons that portrayed her as everything from George W.’s house slave to a yes man-primate, and many within the black community pounded on her for being an “Uncle Tom”. However, she was awarded the office of provost at Stanford when her term ended and she was named as one of the first female members at Augusta National golf club.) But she didn’t get a laudatory mini-series.

Well, Mrs. Clinton also served as a senator from New York. That’s all well and good, but again, many women have served in the Senate before her. And the downside here is that she specifically moved to a state she had never lived in before just for the purpose of runnning for the senate. We have one of those kind of senators here in John McCain. And his carpetbagging past was generally held against him as one of his more negative qualities. That is until he started opening his mouth. Then it became one of his more middle-of-the-road negative qualities. Anyway, Mrs. Clinton’s service as a senator was neither compelling nor all that historical.

Lastly, we hear about her pioneering in the world of feminism because of her involvement in her husband’s administration. Okay… What about the number of women she kneecapped when they came forward with allegations about her husband’s penchant for infidelity? That doesn’t seem very woman-empowering to me.

Anyway, I don’t really care if they make a mini-series about her or not. I doubt it will have much impact on the 2016 presidential election either way. But for two decades, I have often been amazed that this woman is regarded so highly. To me, she doesn’t seem much more than the Courtney Stodden of politics. She is famous because of who she married and has been one of the most remarkable opportunists of our time. Not necessarily the things you enshrine someone in history for.

But that’s just my opinion.

 

 

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Why I Admire A Man So Many People Hate

I have articulated my frustration with politics many times before. I will not be doing so again right now. But one of my biggest goals when it comes to politics is to keep it from getting personal. I believe our desire to take political discourse into the realms of the personal is why the climate in politics today is so toxic and why no problem is getting addressed in our country.

For those reasons I have defended President Obama as a person. I believe there is a great deal of good in the man. I may not agree with all he stands for and advocates, but I don’t believe politics is what makes a person.

Along those same lines, I came across this article today. I know many liberals and democrats who despise President George W. Bush. And I mean despise him. I’ve never understood it. There were things I disagreed with him on when it comes to politics, but when he spoke or made appearances, I always saw a good man doing his best. Call me naive, but that is what I saw. So it was heartening to see that I was not alone and that this high ranking official in the Clinton administration had many of the same feelings about George W. Bush that I always did. And that he could back up those feelings with personal experiences. So, because I believe it is important to accentuate the positive and raise our discourse, I am linking to this article below. Please take the time to read it. Because this is the type of politics I believe our Savior would have us practice.

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2013/04/25/democrat-reveals-3-things-liberals-dont-get-about-george-w-bush/

Meanwhile, only three and half months until THE RELUCTANT BLOGGER hits bookstores and mailboxes. If you haven’t taken the opportunity to pre-order it, today’s as good a day as any. You can order at Amazon.com by clicking here. Or you can request a copy be ordered for you at Bookworms Bookstore in Thatcher, AZ, or any bookstore that handles LDS books. Simply walk in and ask to be on the list for THE RELUCTANT BLOGGER, by Ryan Rapier from Cedar Fort Publishing. Your support is appreciated.

One other note; my friend, Brad Hull, of Due West has a request. He and the rest of the band are striking out on their own and could use your help. I would explain it here, but they do a much better job, so to hear what Due West is asking, please follow the link below. If you haven’t heard a Due West song, you are missing out. In today’s world of country music, their amazing harmonies are a rare commodity. Here’s hoping their new venture works out and we hear new Due West music on the radio real soon.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/duewest/due-west-new-music-project?ref=live

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